my heart.

The days here are full of activity and cuddles and giggles…
but not much sleep!

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(Dishes, lots of dishes… and laundry!
But we had some amazing help with that…
you know who you are!)

Smile
Our hearts are full too.
We are so thankful.

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We just had the sweetest talk with Lucy…

“I think this is a better place to live than I lived before.  I get to ride in the car and go to stores.  I get to play with my brothers and sisters and go to the park.  I like my family. I get to play with playmobil here and I get to wear fancy dresses.  I had 3 fancy dresses in China, not as much.  But I didn’t get to bring them home.
And Petunia. I get to have Petunia.”

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(Lucy’s favorite doll.)

Do you know that it has not even been two years
since our Lucy Joy came home?!?!

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We are so pleased with how everyone is doing.
Of course we have tears and frustrations too…
Things like…
Will I get a shower TODAY?
And…Michael might be heard saying things like,
“I want him to get down so I can sit there,” as he motions to my lap…
or something else less subtle.

Most of our pictures of Henry look something like this…

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He and I are “tight.”

But really, it is amazing.
Jason and I are just trying to keep up with them all!

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We do have a concern that we would ask you to pray about.  Henry’s  liver panel was high in the medical file we received from China, but our pediatrician thought it was perhaps consistent with a recent immunization or infection, not a chronic problem.  Those numbers were two years old when we received them. Blood work done this week shows the numbers as still high, so we are going to see a GI doctor at the end of the month.  We are praying for a simple answer, for healing of any problems present in his little body, and wisdom and discernment for all caregivers involved.

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(After a morning that was a bit overwhelming, we decided to get cary out for lunch! On the way home, Michael kept saying, “Thumbs up, mom, thumbs up!” When we pulled in the driveway and the garage door went up, Henry’s face lit up with a smile…
he didn’t know if we were coming back or not.)

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Thank you for walking this journey with us, praying with us, hoping with us, and caring for us in so many practical ways.

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Home with Henry

Our first day home. Henry was up at 3am this morning and Michael followed suit at 5. Lucy has a fever and Mama is the only one not coughing.

Mama and Hanna still said it felt like Christmas today. It’s so good to be home. We got Five Guys Burgers and Fries for lunch because America. Henry is still smiley and is learning more English every day. He always likes to keep Mama in sight, bonding is such a blessing except when Mama needs to use the bathroom.

There are still struggles ahead (right now staying awake until 7pm is a struggle) but the Rothfuss 8 are doing so well. God is good.

Election Day in China

It somehow seems fitting that I would be visiting the US Consulate in China on Election Day. As we were breezed through security and relieved of our cellphones (and ability to take pictures) I couldn’t help but notice who else was in the building. From my perch in the second floor glass elevator I looked down on hundreds, hundreds of Chinese citizens. Queuing, waiting, lined up, arms full of official documents, hoping against hope for a chance. A chance to do exactly what my brother was doing. A chance to speak to an American official and maybe, just maybe, get a visa to come to America. It doesn’t matter who gets elected tomorrow, America is still going to be the best nation on God’s green earth and the shining city on a hill the world looks to.


There is a substantial amount of smog hanging over Beijing this week which has been cancelling and delaying flights. We appreciate your prayers that would not complicate our return journey. Our current plan is to fly home on Delta flight 0783 from Detroit which is scheduled to land in Omaha at 9:44pm on Thursday, November 10. We’d love to see y’all at the airport if you can make it. This will be our last public appearance for awhile because we’ll be laying low and “cocooning” for quite awhile to help Sunny bond with his new (and first ever) family.
P.S. Remember to vote! The polls are open Tuesday from 8am to 8pm. votedouglascounty.com

Notes on Henry Vol. III

Some of mother’s thoughts on Sunny for a change…

Henry is usually working on something with his hands. He is so curious. If he is not trying to discover how something works, he is probably at least holding something. When we give him a red box of sun made raisins, he carefully opens and closes the box as he eats and then saves the box when he is done. Today he started saying “mama” and I even got a kiss! He also learned to say and sign “more” and we practiced that until the container of puffs was empty… he saved it, and he fell asleep holding it. We were all piled on our bed when it was time to fall asleep and he picked to cuddle up to Hanna with his puffs container and fall asleep. What a treat for her!


Earlier we tried introducing him to swimming. He passed on that, but did enjoy a bath later on. When we met him 1 week ago, he came to us in the cutest little pair of squeaky shoes. He loves them! When he fell asleep next to Hanna, he still had them on. Couldn’t bear to part wit them at the end of the day, so we put them back on with his jammies. He loves to go out and about and when he tires of working on things in our room, he stands at the door of our room hoping for a chance to go somewhere and says , “bye, bye!” He also likes to be carried in the sling we brought with us and sometimes climbs right in when it’s time to get off the bus or leave the restaurant. 


At the medical center appointment, we all found out he most definitely does not enjoy check ups. Henry is mostly potty trained and when I say, “let’s go potty,” he heads right for the bathroom. Sometimes I notice I can’t hear any squeaky shoes and find him waiting for me to help him in the bathroom. It’s fun to watch all the kids enjoying getting to know him. I think he and Michael are going to be partners in crime for sure! He has also learned to say “uh, oh” and that’s what I think about that! There is so much more to share, but now to figure out how to get those squeaky shoes off without waking him up…

More Xi’an and Notes on Henry Vol. II

Our visit to Henry and Lucy’s old home was a success.

Henry is more outgoing, opinionated, and loud by the hour. He repeats simple phrases and syllables in Chinese; 好了(hǎo le) is a favorite, it means “enough” or “good.” He knows family words in Chinese as well (gēge for big brother, jiějie for big sister, bàba for father, and māma for… mama) and usually assigns them to the correct person. His first English words were “uh oh” which he says when he drops things and as I was typing this he picked up a small jar of bubble liquid and said “bubble” to mama.

We got to see some more of Xi’an’s sights over the last few days.

Eating with chopsticks and haggling over prices is so much fun.

We landed in Guangzhou last night which means we have one week left in the PRC! 🇨🇳

Notes on Henry and Xi’an Itinerary

Henry is still eating like a champion. He loves raisins but will consume anything we’ve put before him so far.

His hair is short, sparse, and wiry. In his baby pictures he was completely bald. His fingers are long and thin, perhaps we have another pianist on our hands.

Henry is also, unlike his brothers, strikingly passive. This could just be a combination of his shyness and new surroundings. He accepts almost everything that happens to him without protest. He has only been really upset twice in the last 50 hours. He cried silently when his ayi (nanny) handed him to mom but screamed when mom took his shoe and sock off so he could leave a footprint on a form. That’s another difference between him and Michael, he likes to keep his clothes on. 😀

Today (Tuesday), Hanna and Spencer went to see the terra-cotta warriors. The rest of the family had a quieter day, going to a nearby park and having nap time at the hotel.

On Wednesday, we have the opportunity to go to the Baoji Children’s Welfare Institute where Lucy and Henry lived. We hope to be able to see Lucy’s foster parents again but cannot be sure that will work out. Thursday we tour Xi’an’s beautiful city wall and after some more paperwork for Henry on Friday, we fly to Guangzhou to begin our work with US immigration. After Friday, we will be done working with the Chinese government (for this trip), Henry is officially ours in their eyes.

🎉

Gotcha


We are now 16 hours into our incredible #MissionHenry 🇨🇳 adventure. Last night we had two goals: Henry needs to eat and sleep. Both were a smashing success. He loves to eat everything we’ve tried; bread, rice, beef, and raisins. Especially raisins in nice red boxes because he can open, close, and stack them after you empty them. He drinks a bottle before and after sleeping, which he did for about 10 hours.

We were warned that he was shy and would only talk when he was very comfortable. So far he is mellow and content. He plays with toys and toddles around our room but always comes back to be with mama. He has a ready smile and even coos occasionally. He enjoys rides in buses, elevators, and our baby sling. 

Thank you so much to everyone who has been supporting and praying for us. Y’all mean so much to us.